Bad breath: Herbs, foods and drink that have a ‘big impact on the freshness of your breath

This Morning: Dr Chris warns bad breath can indicate diseases

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Leading dentist, Doctor Baresh Eyrumlu, pointed out that bad breath, medically referred to as halitosis, is “often the result of poor oral hygiene”. However, your diet also plays a role. “What we eat and drink can have a big impact on the freshness of our breath,” said Doctor Eyrumlu. While mint is a well-known antidote to bad breath, other herbs are just as powerful.

Notably, adding parsley or basil into your dishes could lend a helping hand.

“As well as their own distinctive aromas, they contain polyphenols, a group of antioxidants that can destroy the growth of odour-causing bacteria,” the dentist pointed out.

Another herb to consider is ginger, with the poplar root described to be “one of the best weapons to tackle bad breath”.

But why is this so? Doctor Eyrumlu explained: “It contains 6-gingerol, a chemical that activates an enzyme in saliva.”

Ginger’s properties are said to “break down the bacteria responsible for bad breath”.

“Meanwhile, raw fruits and vegetables help produce saliva which washes away nasty bacteria lurking on the teeth,” added Doctor Eyrumlu.

“As well as containing plenty of water, fresh fruit and vegetables boast a range of vitamins and minerals that fight the production of smelly bacteria.

“In addition, the action of chewing them can help scrub the bacteria and plaque clinging to the teeth and boost saliva production.”

Citrus fruits are particularly favourable, such as lemons, limes, and melons.

“Vitamin C has been proven to fight gingivitis, a mild form of gum disease,” said Doctor Eyrumlu.

Doctor Eyrumlu also recommends probiotic yoghurt, which can “help avoid a build-up of odour-causing compounds such as hydrogen sulphide”.

As for one of the best beverages to combat bad breath, Doctor Eyrumlu suggests drinking green tea.

With halitosis affecting one in four Britons, what food and drinks could be making your breath more smelly?

“Certain foods can make the situation worse,” confirmed Doctor Eyrumlu. “With dairy, fish and alcohol among the worst offenders for contributing to bad breath.”

Dairy products, such as cheese, milk and ice cream create a smelly environment in the mouth.

“The amino acids they contain are eaten by the bacteria that we all carry on our tongues and can leave a foul odour behind after eating,” said Doctor Eyrumlu.

Seafood also causes a “distinctive smell” that comes from a compound called trimethylamines.

Another lingering aroma is when a person drinks alcohol and becomes dehydrated.

“It hinders the production of saliva which is one of the most important ways the mouth regulates itself,” the dentist explained.

Doctor Eyrumlu works on behalf of leading private dental firm Banning Dental Group.

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